Increased economic stability for
Enhanced public health for people across the state.
Increased access to healthy food that is less environmentally harmful and more equitable for all.
Food insecurity and wasted food are two of the biggest challenges faced by our country. We're forging connections between community stakeholders to enable farmers to profit, connect organizations to low-cost produce for their stakeholders, and create a pipeline of fresh, healthy foods to food-insecure individuals and families.
We are constantly exploring partnerships and programs that can have a tangible, direct impact on the people of Georgia. Through our partner organizations, we serve Georgians with a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities -- urban, rural, BIPOC, homeless, Latinx, women, children, LGBTQ+, and more.
Retaaza is purchasing fresh, local produce from Georgia farmers of all types - big/small, organic, urban/rural, BIPOC, women-owned - across the state. Week over week our purchasing power with local farmers increases which means our economic impact on rural communities and small business owners increase as well. We are currently working with 22 farms in 19 counties all over Georgia.
Despite Georgia being a top agricultural producer in the U.S. and agriculture being the state's largest industry at $75B, many Georgians are unable to access nutritious food on a regular basis due mostly to accessibility and cost. Every year in Georgia, 2 million tons of food are thrown away. Of the 40% of food that is wasted, most of it is fresh fruits and vegetables.
Beginning by understanding the reasons for the lack of connection between food producers and consumers in need, we develop sustainable systems and programs that bridge gaps and improve access. We are setting up a self-reliant model that won't disappear.
Consistent access to healthy, whole foods improves overall health for both children and adults and results in better attendance at school and work. This is essential to moving families up above the poverty line and equipping children to change generational patterns of poverty and health issues due to poor diet.
Local farms now have a reliable sales and marketing channel for their produce allowing them to more accurately determine their resource planning for the year, cover the costs of producing their crop for the season, and pay their employees, while further reducing what ends up as wasted or surplus food.
Check out our 2022 impact report
In February 2022, Clinch county was ranked as the most food insecure county in the state of Georgia. The regional food insecurity rate was reported at 21.4%, which is 96.3% higher than the national average.
Retaaza, along with its partner Clinch Memorial Hospital, will create an oasis in a food desert. The first initiative of the Retaaza Rx program is a mobile market located in Clinch county that will launch Q1 of 2023. It will expand Retaaza operations and reach directly to consumers by purchasing local, and oftentimes surplus, produce from local farmers and bringing it directly to local residents in persistent pockets of poverty. Families in these counties will have access to conveniently located healthy food options at an affordable price that requires no transportation in order to gain access.